Acne in Pregnancy
What is an Acne?
An acne or a pimple is a skin disease which is medically known as Acne Vulgaris. It is mainly caused by oil glands that are present at the base of hair follicles. The word ‘acne’ came from the Greek word ‘akme,' which meant spot or point. It is mostly seen occurring at the neck, face, back, shoulder and chest. The skin pores in a human body come in contact with oil glands present under the skin, which produce an oily substance known as sebum. A follicle connects the pores to the glands by a canal. Oil transports dead skin cells to the skin surface of these follicles. Clogging of these follicles leads to bacterial formation thus causing acne. According to at the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (released in March 2013), there is a good strain and bad strain of bacteria, which aggravates the frequency and severity of acne.
Types of Acne
The various types of acne or pimples are as follows-
Whitehead – This forms when dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria become trapped within the pores of the skin.
Blackheads - The small bump that appears on the skin due to clogged hair follicles is known as Blackhead, which is so called because the skin surface looks dark or black. They can appear on the back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders and are considered a mild type of acne.
Papules - Papules seen on the skin surface, are usually small bumps, which are pink in color.
Pustules - Pustules are distinctly visible on the surface of the skin, which is red at their base and have pus at the tip.
Nodules - This type of acne is large, painful, solid pimples, and are buried deep within the skin.
Cysts – Cysts, visible on the surface of the skin are a painful form of acne, loaded with pus and capable of making scars.
Reason Behind Acne during Pregnancy
Due to the increased levels of hormones during pregnancy, acne gets triggered mostly in the first trimester. High level of hormones known as Androgens is primarily responsible for the increased oil production leading to acne. These hormones can boost the sebaceous glands in the skin to produce sebum, which combined with dead skin cells in the hair follicles, block the pores allowing bacteria to multiply rapidly.
Though it cannot be predetermined who is going to get pregnancy acne, if one has a history of acne, she is more likely to develop acne. Women who get acne during the first trimester, are unlikely to have acne during the second or third trimesters. The condition of acne in pregnancy can range from mild, moderate or severe, i.e., it can last for a short duration or through the entire period of pregnancy.
Natural Ways to Decrease Acne during Pregnancy
Here are five natural remedies that can be used to treat acne at home. However, consulting with your gynecologist and dermatologist before the application is highly recommended to avoid allergies and infections.
Cinnamon and Honey Mask
With the antimicrobial properties of cinnamon mixed with honey, a natural antibiotic., it can do wonders to resolve acne.
Milk (Yogurt) and Honey
The acids present in milk and yogurt helps to tone down redness along with moisturization of the skin. It also helps to get rid of any residual matter skin caused by dead skin.
Egg white is an easy way to decrease breakouts as it contains proteins and vitamins which help to revamp skin cells. It also soaks up excess oil, which means excess sebum, thus reducing the breeding ground for bacterial infection.
Orange Peel Paste
The use of orange peel mask, containing vitamin C, citrus extract, and astringent properties, helps to develop new skin cells, therefore, keeping the skin in healthy conditions.
Tea Tree Oil
Unlike other oil, tea tree oil acts as a solvent that penetrates through sebum and dead skin cells, unblocking the skin pores. The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil help to get rid of infecting bacteria and prevents it from growing in further.
Food that Helps to keep Acne in Check during Pregnancy
Here is a list of foods that helps to keep acne in check. However, consultation with doctors before the intake or application is highly recommendable.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Dab a cotton ball with unfiltered apple juice vinegar and apply to your skin to absorb oil. Blend one-section vinegar to three-sections clean water. This will make a natural toner that is rich in natural enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids.
It dries the oil on your skin and escalates healing. Prepare a natural treatment by blending one tablespoon of baking soda with one tablespoon of water. Apply to acne and pimples and allow it to dry.
Lemons and limes contain alpha hydroxy acid which penetrates in your skin, unclogs pores and sheds dead skin cells. These astringent and antibacterial qualities make it useful as an exfoliant.
Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which are calming to the skin. Applying honey to the affected area is proven to prevent acne and breakouts.
Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal characteristics which soothe the skin and easily gets absorbed. Apply virgin coconut oil before going to bed for better results.
Acne and skin break out are very common during pregnancy. More than one out of every two females can develop acne during pregnancy. At times, it might be severe, but one should never pop the acne, which might result in permanent acne scars. In case of clogged pores, one can get always opt for a professional facial. The ultimate truth is, pregnancy is not at all bad for your skin! While some of you may have to tackle a few new skin ailments, for some lucky few, pregnancy can, in fact, help clear up their skin, leaving behind a healthy glow!